Archive for May 2013
Global News’ Erika Tucker offers commentary on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s comments that she was concerned about the ongoing affairs at Toronto City Hall and was ready to intervene. One problem, as Tucker notes, is that there isn’t really much that can be done. Even if the crack video turns up, it couldn’t be proven that it was crack cocaine being smoked?
When asked what an appropriate time to take action would be, Wynne said that, “there are measures that can be taken at city council in order to keep the business of the city running.
“I don’t know what the outcome of the allegations and all of the current actions is going to be, but I will take action if and when it is appropriate having followed due process.”
[. . .]
Wynne called the municipal level of government “a mature level of government” but one that is “the creature of the province at some high level.” She said there is an option of legislation changes, but didn’t commit to immediate action.
“The provincial legislature could amend the City of Toronto Act and the Municipal Elections Act but I do not see either of those things as a real possibility,” wrote John Mascarin, a partner with Aird & Berlis LLP, in an email to Global News. And Wynne’s comments suggest she has no plans to do so at this time.
“If at some later date we need to change those rules, then we have that conversation, but right now we are paying close attention to whether the business of the city is being done and everyone is following the procedures that are in place,” Wynne said.
Short of amending the statutes, there is actually little the province can do to remove an elected mayor, wrote Mascarin. An elected official can lose their seat if there’s a contravention of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act or if they commit a corrupt practice under the Municipal Elections Act, he added.
I don’t think that anyone will be surprised by the news that a policeman charged with beating someone at the G20 protests three years ago was just acquitted (the news was carried by the CBC, among others). It might be noteworthy that apparently police on the scene were unable to identify which of their fellows, even when presented with video evidence of the aftermath of the assault.
An Ontario Superior Court judge has acquitted Toronto police Const. Glenn Weddell on all assault charges arising from the G20 protests nearly three years ago.
Weddell was charged after Dorian Barton’s shoulder was broken on June 26, 2010. Barton alleged that a police officer hit him with a riot shield, knocking him to the ground.
Weddell, the first Toronto officer to go on trial for charges stemming from the protests, pleaded not guilty to assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.
[. . .]
Weddell testified that he doesn’t remember seeing anyone assault Barton, but noted that in the video it looks like another officer kicks Barton at one point while he’s on the ground.
“It was more like, ‘Get up, get out of here,”‘ Weddell testified. “That could be construed as assault, definitely, but it was more like a motivational thing … I see that in the video.”